Compare & find the perfect palm router | top 5 buying guide

Best Choice

DEWALT Router, Fixed and Plunge Base Kit, Soft Start, 12-Amp,

DEWALT 2-1/4-HP DW618PKB

Runner up

Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP* Compact Router Kit

Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP

Best Price

Ridgid R2401 Laminate Trim Router

Ridgid 11-Amp 2 Peak Hp 1/2″ Corded Router

The right palm router, with the properties that are tailored to the projects in your woodworking workshop, will ensure that you can work efficiently and with a high return.

But how do you find that perfect compact router?
What should you pay attention to when buying a router?

The perfect router is not the same for everyone!
What is a good router for one woodworker, is not a suitable power tool for another woodworker. Choosing between the many compact routers on offer is a difficult job!

Fortunately, you ended up on this blog.
Here you will find out, in a very short time, everything about what palm routers are, and what they are used for.
This guide will help you on how to find the perfect palm router for your projects.

Most woodworkers, including myself, say that the palm router is one of the most versatile power tools in the woodworking workshop.
Once you see what a router can do for your projects, you can’t live without it.
So, let’s find out what is the perfect palm router for you!

Disclosure: At zero cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. I earn from qualifying purchases as an Amazon associate. Products featured are selected based on quality, performance, and reputation, regardless of affiliate relationships.

What is a router?

To start this blog you need to understand what a router is.
A router is a power tool that drives a fast-rotating cutting bit, sometimes up to 35,000 RPM.
The flat base of the router slides over the wood surface with the rotating blade extending beyond the base.
With this rotating knife, it is possible to hollow out certain pieces in the workpiece.

The distance at which the rotating knife protrudes is variable and will therefore determine the depth of the recesses.
You can make cuts with the router in materials such as wood and plastic.

There are three possible modes of operation:

  • routers can be handheld,
  • hung upside down in router tables,
  • or mounted on a computer-controlled CNC machine. 

Because of the different types of router bits, that have a different finish, the router is seen as one of the most versatile tools in the woodworking workshop.

What is a palm router?

OK, now you know what a router is, but this blog is all about palm routers. So, you will need to know what a palm router is, and what is the difference with a plunge router?

A palm router is really just a small version of a wood router.
A palm router is often used to finish workpieces, to apply details, or to carry out smaller milling jobs.

Some of these routers even have the ability to control the speed at which the router bit rotates.

The depth at which milling is done can also be determined.

A big difference between a palm router and a plunge router, is that the plunge router has heavier motors and can drive larger milling bits.

Ebook part 1 woodworking basics

What is a palm router used for?

A palm router is one of the most versatile tools in woodworking.
This is because of the many types of router bits available.

By choosing the router bit you can mill grooves, among other things, chamfer an edge, or create elegant edge profiles.

The range of available cutters is unbelievably large.
If you want to give a certain shape or profile to your workpiece, there is undoubtedly a router bit that can give you the desired result.

When you combine different milling bits with each other, you can create your own unique finishing profile.
Combining router bits will make the possibilities of a palm router become even greater.
Dare to experiment, the only limit to those possibilities will be your own creativity.

Tip:

Do you want to get inspiration about which router bits are best to start with?
Then be sure to check out my blog, 5 most important must-have router bits for DIYers | Best buy guide.

Recommended!

What to look for when comparing palm routers?

Okay, so you are looking for a palm router that best suits your wishes and needs, and can handle the projects you want to make.

In your search for the perfect palm router, you will see that there are many options offered by different brands.

So you will have to make your choice by comparing their properties.

The main features with which your palm routers can compare are:

  • Speed control
  • power
  • weight
  • basic style
  • Soft start

Based on these properties, you can choose which router is most suitable for your workplace.

Speed control

Some brands offer variable-speed palm routers.
The advantage of this is that you can adjust the speed to the type of wood you want to process.
By using the correct speed, the wood will not burn or burn less quickly.
The speed is always shown in RPM (revolutions per minute)

Power

Power is perhaps the most important feature to consider when purchasing a palm router.
Power can ensure that you can work harder wood, but also the bits can work better and faster when they are driven with more power.

Weight

When you have to work with the compact router for several hours in a row, weight can play a very important role.

The lower the weight of this power tool, the longer you will be able to work with this palm router without fatigue.

Basic styles

There are two types of base styles available, a solid base and a base that plunge into the wood.

The fixed base is attached with buttons that hold the compact router in place that you have set.

The plunge is very handy for making grooves, for example.
The plunge allows you to make cuts in different steps to avoid burning.

Soft start

A smooth start ensures that you can always hold the router firmly in your hand. 
That smooth start will prevent the palm router tool to slip because of the enormous power.
So the palm router will start slowly and build up speed.

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Compare & find the perfect palm router | top 5 best buy guide

Through the questions and answers above, you have learned what palm routers are and what they can do for you.
So, now you have to decide which router is best for your woodworking workshop.

To help you with that, you will find a selection of the 5 best compact routers below.
Based on their features, you can choose the best compact router tool with the functions you need for your projects, and that fits within your budget.

01: DEWALT palm Router, Fixed/Plunge Base Kit, 2-1/4-HP DW618PKB.

Best Choice
DEWALT Router, Fixed and Plunge Base Kit, Soft Start, 12-Amp,

Features

  • Speed: variable 8,000 to 24,000 RPM
  • Power: 2-1/4 hp
  • Weight: 16.26 pounds / 7.37 kg
  • Base style: Fixed & plunge
  • Soft start : Yes

The DeWalt DW618PKB compact router has a 2-1/4 hp motor, with adjustable speed control from 8,000 to 24,000 RPM, and a soft start function.

This compact router from DeWalt can be used as a fixed base or as a plunge router.

The Dewalt DW618PKB has a micro-fine depth adjustment ring, that provides precise depth adjustments in 1/64 inch increments.

Quality

Price

DEWALT palm Router, Fixed/Plunge Base Kit, 2-1/4-HP DW618PKB.

02: Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP Palm router kit.

Runner up
Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP* Compact Router Kit

Features

  • Speed: variable 10,000 to 30,000 RPM
  • Power: 1-1/4 hp
  • Weight: 3.9 pounds / 1.77 kg
  • Base style: Fixed & plunge
  • Soft start : Yes

This Makita router has a 1-1/4 hp motor, with adjustable speed control from 10,000 to 30,000 RPM, and a soft start function.
The Makita RT0701 is a durable palm cutter, guaranteed by double insulation and a robust aluminum motor housing.

It can be used as a fixed base or as a plunge router by means of the supplied adapter.

This compact router has a smooth rack, and pinion system for fine depth adjustment for more precise settings.
There is also a quick-release cam lock system for easy depth adjustments.

Quality

Price

Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP Palm router kit.

03: Bosch GKF125CEPK Colt 1.25 HP (Max) Variable-Speed Palm Router Combination Kit.

Bosch GKF125CEPK Colt 1.25 HP (Max) Variable-Speed Palm Router Combination

Features

  • Speed: variable 16,000 to 35,000 RPM
  • Power: 1-1/4 hp
  • Weight: 7 pounds / 3.17 kg
  • Base style: Fixed & plunge
  • Soft start : Yes

This 1-1/4 hp palm router has adjustable speed control from 16,000 to 35,000 RPM, a soft start function, and weighs about 7 pounds (3.18 kg).

This compact router from Bosch can be used as a fixed base or as a plunge router.

The Bosh GKF125CEPK has an aluminum base housing with a wide-bit capacity that can accept bits up to 1-5/16” Wide.

Quality

Price

Bosch GKF125CEPK Colt 1.25 HP (Max) Variable-Speed Palm Router Combination Kit.

04: Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2723-20 Compact Router.

Milwaukee's Cordless Compact Router,18.0 Voltage

Features

  • Speed: variable 10,000 to 31,000 RPM
  • Power: 1-1/4 hp
  • Weight: 2.95 pounds / 1.33 kg
  • Base style: Fixed
  • Soft start : Yes

This cordless palm router from Milwaukee has a 1-1/4 hp motor, and adjustable speed control from 10,000 to 31,000 RPM, and a soft start function.

This palm router from Bosch is used as a fixed base router.

The Milwaukee cordless palm router has the same power as corded compact routers, and higher SPM to complete cuts in hardwoods.

Quality

Price

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2723-20 Compact Router.

05: Ridgid 11-Amp 2 Peak Hp 1/2″ Corded Variable Fixed Base Router R22002

Best Price
Ridgid R2401 Laminate Trim Router

Features

  • Speed: variable RPM Unknown
  • Power: 2 hp
  • Weight: 9.58 pounds / 4.34 kg
  • Base style: Fixed
  • Soft start : Yes

The last compact router in this list is the Ridgid cordless palm router. The Ridgid router has a 2 hp motor, adjustable speed control, and a soft start function.

This palm router from Ridgid is used as a fixed base router.

The palm router from Ridgid features Micro Depth adjustment for precise depth control.

Quality

Price

Ridgid 11-Amp 2 Peak Hp 1/2″ Corded Variable Fixed Base Router R22002

What palm router is the best?

Every woodworker will have different requirements when it comes to purchasing a compact router.
Price is also an important factor.

So, compare the properties of the best routers in this list with each other, and check for the most recent price via the buttons.

Based on this list and the properties of the routers, it should now be a simple job for you to determine which palm router is most suitable for your workplace.

Palm routerSpeedPowerWeightBase styleSoft startCheck price
Makita RT0701CX710,000 – 30,000 RPM1-1/4 Hp3.9 Pounds 1.77 KgFixed & plungeYesCheck price on Amazon
DeWalt DW618PKB8,000 – 24,000 RPM2-1/4 Hp16.26 Pounds 7.37 KgFixed & plunge Yes Check price on Amazon
Bosch GKF125CEPK16,000 – 35,000 RPM1-1/4 Hp 7 Pounds
3.17 Kg
Fixed & plunge Yes Check price on Amazon
Milwaukee M1810,000 – 31,000 RPM1-1/4 Hp 2.95 Pounds 1.33 KgFixedYesCheck price on Amazon
Ridgid R22002Unknown2 Hp9.58 Pounds 4.34 KgFixedYesCheck price on Amazon
Palm router comparison

What is the best palm router – Conclusion

Congratulations! You are now equipped with the knowledge and insights needed to navigate the realm of palm routers thanks to these palm router reviews. We have explored what routers are and how they differ from palm routers, delving into their various uses and the incredible versatility they offer. Additionally, we have provided you with essential factors to consider when comparing palm routers, including speed control, power, weight, basic styles, and soft start functionality.

With our top 5 best buy guide, you have a curated selection of palm routers that excel in their respective features, enabling you to make an informed decision based on your specific requirements and budget. Remember, every woodworker has unique needs, so consider your preferences and projects when selecting your perfect palm router.

Now, armed with this newfound knowledge, you can confidently embark on your woodworking journey and harness the true potential of a palm router. Unleash your creativity, experiment with different router bits, and bring your woodworking projects to life with precision and finesse.

Want to take your woodworking knowledge even further? Master the device which powers your internet connection with our simplified “How to Use a Router – Easy 5-minute Starter Guide,” featuring useful tips, tricks, and safety measures to maximize your router’s capacity. Click the link below and explore new horizons in woodcraft!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a palm router the same as a compact router?

Yes, a palm type router is often referred to as a compact router. They are essentially the same, with the term “palm router” emphasizing its small size and handheld nature.

What is the difference between a router and a palm router?

The main difference lies in their size and intended use. A router is a larger, more powerful tool typically used for heavy-duty routing tasks, while a palm router is smaller and designed for lighter applications and intricate details. These compact routers are easier to maneuver and control with one hand.

Is a palm router enough?

Yes, a palm router is usually sufficient for most woodworking projects. It offers versatility, precise control, and the ability to work on smaller-scale tasks. However, for larger or more demanding projects, a full-sized router may be more suitable.

How deep can a palm router cut?

The cutting depth of a palm type router depends on the model and the specific bit being used. Generally, compact routers can achieve cutting depths of around 1 inch (25mm) or more, but it’s essential to refer to the manufacturer’s specifications for precise information.

Can you do plunge cuts with a palm router?

Yes, some palm routers have a plunge base feature that allows for plunge cuts. This feature enables you to start the cut in the middle of the material rather than from the edge. Plunge cuts are useful for creating grooves, mortises, and other intricate designs.

Can you cut aluminum with a hand router?

Yes, a hand router can be used to cut aluminum. Use a carbide-tipped router bit designed for metal cutting, set the appropriate speed and feed rate, and ensure proper safety precautions.

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I hope this information on how to find the best palm router was helpful, and that this blog and video inspires you.

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Greetings,
Christophe, founder of Christofix.com
Woodworking | DIY | Home decoration

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